Anchor Tags

Poster: Attention Angler Anchor Tag
Anchor Tag

Anchor TagMetal Anchor Tag

Report Anchor Tags

Many projects have been conducted using anchor tags. Some anchor tags are plastic and resemble a piece of spaghetti and are often found inserted near the base of a fin. Other types of anchor tags are metal and clip onto a fin or opercle. You might catch a fish bearing an anchor tag with the letters DNR, MDNR, MI DNR or MICH DNR (or other combinations). If you catch a fish with an anchor tag, please report the following information: species, length, weight (if known), tag location (where tag was attached), identification number (the larger of the two sets of numbers), tag return address (for example MICH DNR MM-1), capture date, and capture location by using the tag return form. In the notes box of the form, please list time of capture and sex of fish (if known).

Upon receiving your information, a letter stating when and where the fish was tagged will be sent to you via US mail.

If you catch a fish bearing a plastic anchor tag during catch and release season, or if you choose not to keep the fish, please remove the tag and report the tag recovery. However metal anchor tags, such as those found a lake sturgeon, can be very difficult to remove and trying to remove them can cause injury to the fish, so we recommend anchor tags on lake sturgeon should be left attached to the fish.

Additional Information about Anchor Tags:

  • Lake Michigan Yellow Perch Task Group Tagging Project
    Recaptures and recoveries of anchor tags from a lake wide mark-recapture study implemented from 1996-2001 were used to evaluate the stock structure of yellow perch in the southern basin of Lake Michigan and Green Bay.
  • Beaver Island Archipelago Tagging Project
    Central Michigan University (CMU) is conducting a smallmouth bass study in and around Beaver Island. The study is designed to determine population estimates and movement patterns. Tagged smallmouth bass may have one or more of the following: jaw, anchor, or sonic tags.
  • Lake Sturgeon Distribution and Status in Michigan, 1996-2005
    Adult lake sturgeon spawning in the Sturgeon River (Houghton and Baraga counties) and other rivers were tagged to monitor movement, characteristics of the spawning stock, and degree of spawning-stream fidelity. In all years, lake sturgeon over 37 cm were tagged with an anchor tag; after 2000, fish over 25 cm were doubled marked with an anchor tag and PIT tag.